MINNEAPOLIS -- More than 130 mental health workers at Allina Health will be back on the picket line Tuesday for the second day of their three-day strike for fair contracts.
This comes as M Heath Fairview reached a tentative deal after a marathon 12 hours of negotiations Monday night with its mental health workers, preventing hundreds from walking off the job.
The new contract is for 1.5 years and includes an immediate 6% wage increase, with an added 2.75% in March for all workers. There's also increased paid time off and new initiatives to address staffing concerns.
While it still needs to be voted on, union leaders are happy with the deal, noting this is the largest single-year wage increase the health system has offered in years.
Union leaders representing Allina Health workers said they're at a standstill with their negotiations.
"We are here because we are fed up with the greed at Allina Health, where Allina Health has said they're going to put profits before patients and before our livelihood and our safety," said Jamie Gulley, president of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota. "We're sick of it."
Mental health workers at both M Health and Allina Health systems went on strike back in May. They were supposed to go on strike together again this time until a new deal was reached at M Health.
Allina workers said they hope it serves as motivation in their contract negotiations.
"We've seen this week that these large corporate health care companies can make progress towards an agreement as you've seen over at the folks with M Health but unfortunately Allina is choosing not to pay us the same respect," said Stephanie Stark, a senior mental health coordinator at Allina Health.
Allina Health leaders sent us a statement saying in part, "While we have reached agreement with the union on most non-economic issues, including many workplace safety items, the union continues to push for wage and benefit increases that are unrealistic and unsustainable at a time when Minnesota health systems are facing significant financial challenges."
Allina mental health workers will be outside Allina Unity Hospital in Fridley for the second day of the three-day strike, which begins at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
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